Briefs, November 19, 2012

PUBLISHED : Monday, 19 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 19 November, 2012, 3:39am

Egypt's Coptics enthrone new pope

CAIRO - The new pope of Egypt's Orthodox Coptic church has been enthroned. Pope Tawadros, 60, was elected earlier this month, but the televised official enthronement ceremony was held yesterday at the Coptic cathedral in Cairo. He replaced Shenouda, who died in March after leading the ancient church for 40 years. Egypt's Christians make up about 10 per cent of the nation's estimated 83 million people. AP

One more body found in Gulf of Mexico

NEW ORLEANS - The company that owns an oil platform that caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico has vowed to continue searching for a second missing worker after a body was recovered near the site. The remains were found on Saturday night by divers hired by Houston-based Black Elk Energy after the Coast Guard has suspended a search. AP

Sierra Leone voters flock to national polls

FREETOWN - Voters flocked to the polls in Sierra Leone on Saturday in a presidential vote that will see the winning party handed stewardship of a lucrative mining boom a decade after the end of the country's devastating civil war. Turnout was reported to be high in the ballot, seen as a test of the nation's recovery following an 11-year conflict that left 120,000 dead and many mutilated by rebels. AFP

Former mayor killed in western Mexico

MORELIA, Mexico - A former mayor who had denounced earlier attempts on her life has been killed in the western Mexican state of Michoacan. The body of Maria Santos Gorrostieta Salazar, 36, was found beside a highway by residents in Cuitzeo municipality. The body had its hands tied and had received a strong blow to the back of the neck. There had been at least two unsuccessful attempts on Gorrostieta's life in the past, including a shooting that killed her husband in October 2009. AP

Fake Olympians held for cocaine smuggling

BUENOS AIRES - Ten Venezuelans impersonating Olympic weightlifters were arrested at Argentina's main airport with capsules of liquid cocaine hidden in their stomachs. The fake athletes were waiting to board a flight to Portugal when they were arrested after body scans revealed the presence of the cocaine capsules. The men were arrested and turned over to a Buenos Aires court. AFP

Helicopters collide in southern California

ALTADENA, California - Two helicopters collided over a helipad, leaving five police officers and a civilian with minor injuries. Police believed the collision occurred when the rotor blades of the aircraft touched. The collision caused the blade of one of the helicopters to fall off and its tail to break. One helicopter crew was on routine patrol and the other was assigned to monitor traffic from the UCLA-Southern California American football game at the Rose Bowl. AP

Kurdish prisoners halt 2-month hunger strike

ANKARA – A human rights group says hundreds of Kurdish prisoners in a dozen Turkish jails have ended a hunger strike to demand more rights for Kurds and improved jail conditions for Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan. The inmates yesterday heeded a call by Ocalan to stop. The prisoners refused food but drank tea or sugared and salted water. Seventy of them started the strike on September 12, with more joining in. AP 

6 die in head-on crash on German motorway

BERLIN – A car driving in the wrong direction on a foggy highway caused a pile-up in Germany that left six people dead and five injured. The accident in southwest Germany occurred yesterday morning after the car entered the highway against traffic and crashed headon with a van near the city of Offenburg. Five people in the van and the 20-year-old car driver died. The other casualties were in two other cars involved in the accident, with one person seriously injured and four slightly hurt. AP

Kabul Bank fraud suspects put on trial

KABUL – Afghanistan has put on trial nearly two dozen suspects accused of involvement in the massive Kabul Bank fraud that pushed the nation’s oncebiggest private lender to the point of collapse. The 22 suspects include Sher Khan Farnood, the bank’s founder and chairman, and CEO Khalilullah Fruzi. The hearing is seen as a crucial test of the government’s commitment to crack down on rampant corruption. AFP

Violence mars Greek anti-dictatorship march

ATHENS – Greeks took to the streets by the tens of thousands on Saturday to commemorate the 39th anniversary of a deadly student uprising against the country’s former dictatorship. While the marches went on peacefully, clashes between anarchists and police erupted briefly in areas far from the marches in Athens and Thessaloniki. Police detained 89 people in the two cities. AP 

Ex-Sao Paulo mayor rejects graft conviction

SAO PAULO – The former mayor of Sao Paulo, Brazil, rejected a court ruling in the Channel Island of Jersey that found him guilty of stealing US$10.5 million. “First, I am not a criminal,” said Paulo Maluf, now 81, told the G1Globo news website. “Second, I do not have an account. That was a journalistic mistake. You set up this story.” AFP